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NEW YORK – Eastman Kodak, the maker of digital cameras and film for the photo, movie and TV industries, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that could be made in the coming weeks if the company fails to sell digital patents, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Talk of a possible bankruptcy filing first emerged in late September, but the scenario seems more likely now, with the paper reporting that the company is actively preparing a filing.
Such a filing, which would allow the company to continue operating while it works on a restructuring plan, could come as soon as this month or early February, the paper quoted a person familiar with the situation as saying. Kodak’s focus would then be to sell some 1,100 patents through a bankruptcy court-supervised auction, according to the report.
A spokesman for the 131-year-old company told the Journal that the firm “does not comment on market rumor or speculation.”
Kodak once was the dominant player in its industry, but it has failed to stay on top in a changing market and benefit from innovations. For example, it invented the digital camera, but never gained a dominant position in the digital camera market, the Journal said.
It compared Kodak to other big-name companies that failed to adapt to fast-changing businesses, such as Polaroid Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection for a second time in 2008, book store chain Borders Group, which went into liquidation last year, and Blockbuster, which filed for Chapter bankruptcy protection and was last year acquired by satellite TV firm Dish Network.
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